Turkey: Thousands fired, investigation stymied on coup attempt anniversary

A police helicopter flies over a member of security forces as people mainly soldiers, accused of trying to assassinate the president during last July's coup attempt are escorted by security forces towards the courthouse in Mugla west

The Grand National Assembly of Turkey (TBMM) adopted Monday a motion to extend the ongoing state of emergency in Turkey for another three more months, and for the fourth time since the failed coup attempt previous year.

But mobile phone users in Turkey were surprised to hear a voice message by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan when placing a call around midnight on the anniversary of the failed July 15 coup.

Turkish authorities also stripped 342 retired army personnel of their rank, Anadolu said. The main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) and the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) strongly oppose the state of emergency.

Relations between the European Union and Turkey deteriorated since the coup bid in Turkey a year ago, which left 250 people martyred and almost 2,200 injured. The government has arrested another 50,000 people. Erdogan continues to lay blame to cleric-in-exile Fathulla Gulen, who lives Pennsylvania, USA.

Ankara has launched purges on an unprecedented scale against assumed supporters of the Gülen movement, accused of instigating the attempted coup d'état.

"No investigations have been made into how this terror organization got to such a daring point within the state, how it was placed there to attempt a coup, and new information was covered up", Tezcan told The Associated Press on July 16.

Tezcan said inquiries into the coup were obstructed to protect Erdogan's government, which he says is using a state of emergency imposed after the failed coup to create a lawless environment without checks and balances. Another 7,000 police, civil servants and academics were dismissed last week according to a decree published on Friday.



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